9-1-1 operator helps save two kids who nearly drowned in pool

FOX 10 is hearing from the 9-1-1 operator who helped save the lives of two young children; a 1-year-old and a 2-year-old that nearly drowned in a backyard pool earlier this month.

Both kids were pulled from the water and rushed to the hospital, they both survived.

But before the first responders arrived family members began performing CPR on the kids, it was a 9-1-1 operator who walked them through the steps of what to do.

Now those critical moments are being hard in the 9-1-1 call made public.

The operator says it is difficult enough when dealing with one drowning patient, but it gets a lot more challenging when you are trying to help save two.

He maintained his composure the entire time, helping the family perform CPR over the phone until first responders got to the scene.

The call for help came into the Phoenix Fire 9-1-1 center just before five in the evening on July 3.

Operator: "Fire Department, Hello,"
Caller: "Hello, two babies have drowned,"
Operator: "Excuse me,"
Caller: "Two babies have drowned,"

A 1-year-old girl and 2-year-old boy fell into the backyard pool near 51st Avenue and Encanto. Phoenix Fire Operator Michael Salazar was on the other end of the line.

"The biggest thing for us is staying calm on our end, if we're not calm, it's hard to keep control of the situation," said Michael Salazar.

Salazar is a 10-year veteran of the department. He walked the caller on how to give CPR to the children.

Within moments it worked.

"The baby's breathing, the baby's breathing!" said the caller.

"Oh my god, man, oh my god," said the caller.

"This is one of those calls where everything kind of fell together, and we were able to get those kids to safety and come out with a happy ending. We all know unfortunately it doesn't always work that way, but when it does it definitely need to hear about it,"

Both of the children are expected to recover fully from the near drowning. Salazar says it is an important reminder that child drownings and near drowning are preventable with the proper safety precautions, he also stresses the importance of learning CPR.